Editor’s note: My sister, Sarah, just moved into her first apartment! I’m so proud of her. When I heard she was taking on cooking by herself for the first time (our mom is a fantastic cook and has tutored us many hours in the kitchen), I had to have her guest blog on Fledgling Foodie. Here’s her first post of (I’m hoping) many! (Hint hint, Sarah, get writing.)
When my sister, THE Fledgling Foodie herself, asked me to guest blog about my first home-made meal in my new apartment, I asked her if it was alright that I sounded like a food “newb.”
“I’m not a star chef either,” she said. “That’s what the blog is about.”
Despite what she says, I will warn you that I am hopeless and embarrassing in the kitchen. I will also warn you that I am very excited about how this first dish came out, because it’s, like, the third time I’ve ever made anything that tasted good.
I got this cookbook, “Easy Skillet Meals” (by Good Housekeeping) for two reasons. Number 1: The word “easy” is in the name. Number 2: I tend to like on-top-of-the-stove cooking way more than inside-the-oven cooking. The oven is a scary, scary place where many things get burned. I was drawn to the Salmon and Asparagus Stir-fry because I love those two things, and the picture opposite the recipe looked really good.
Salmon and Asparagus Stir-fry, adapted from Good Housekeeping’s Easy Skillet Meals
1.5 pounds of skinless salmon fillet (You can apparently also use swordfish! Yum!) (I also learned that they skin fish for you at the grocery store! Thanks, Mom, for telling me that and for skinning the fish when I told you that we would order pizza before I skinned anything.)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1.5 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup of water
I heated up one of my (bright red—thanks Mom!) non-stick pans over medium heat until it was nice and hot. Meanwhile, I cut up the salmon into 1.5-inch squares. I’m sure this measurement does not need to be exact. I was picturing how much I could fit in my mouth in one bite, just in case this stuff turned out to be really good. Cook the fish, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked all the way through. Even I knew that meant until it was light pink instead of… raw looking.
Put the fish off to the side. Keep it warm, though! Get that foil out!
In the same skillet I added the red pepper and asparagus. Cook them until they’re done how you like them. I guess some people like them a little crisp? Some people might like them wicked squishy. It’s really your call, I think.
While those are cooking (I can’t believe I did this much multi-tasking), whisk together the green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, corn starch, sugar, and water until it’s all blended together. I’m going to be honest with you: the recipe called for rice vinegar, and I didn’t get it. I had no idea what it was, thought I was never going to use it again after this meal, and breezed right by it in the grocery store guilt-free. Also, I didn’t put the ginger in. I bet this would have made the stir-fry taste even more delicious, but I was having a melt down in the produce section and couldn’t find any. I gave up relatively easily and I feel (sort of) like a quitter.
Add this little soy sauce mixture to the veggies and heat it all up until it boils. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. I wondered, at the time, whether the word “constantly” was really necessary. Did I really have to stir without stopping for the next minute? I had done so well following directions up until then, though, that I was scared I would ruin everything if I didn’t keep it up.
After that minute, poor the veggies and mixture over the fish and mix it all up a little before you serve it. I put this delightful stir-fry over my new favorite corn pasta. More multi-tasking! I was cooking that the whole time! If you knew me in real life, you would be shocked.
Apparently, each serving of this stuff is around 265 calories with 38g protein, 11g carbs, 7g total fat (1g saturated), and lots of sodium.
Enjoy! I know I did. Let me tell you, food tastes really, really good when you’re proud of yourself for making it. Okay, food tastes really good all the time, I guess.